CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Monday sought central aid for intra-linking of rivers within the State and also to expedite interlinking of rivers through necessary legislation in order to facilitate implementation of the Peninsular Grid, involving linking of Mahanadhi - Godavari - Krishna - Pennar - Palar - Cauvery - Vaigai - Gundar.
Speaking at the fifth meeting of the special committee for inter linking of rivers chaired by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti at New Delhi, PWD Minister O Panneerselvam said Tamil Nadu had programmed to implement the linking of Pennaiyar (Sathanur Dam) - Palar link, Pennaiyar (Nedungal Anicut) - Palar link, Cauvery (Mettur Dam) - Sarabanga link, Athikadavu - Avinashi Flood Canal Scheme and Tamirabarani - Karumeniyar - Nambiyar link.
“The previous government at the Centre had not favourably considered these proposals. Now the Centre should extend financial assistance including cost for land acquisition”, he added.
He said Tamil Nadu had agreed to extend the tenure of the Sub Committees namely - Sub Committee for Comprehensive Evaluation of Various Studies/Reports available on the issue of Interlinking of Rivers and the Sub Committee for System Studies for identification of most appropriate alternative plan, for a further period of six months subject to the condition that the two panels should be instructed to expedite their findings for the overall interlinking of the Peninsular Grid and also for the quick implementation of the Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar link.
As early as on April 16, 2013, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had urged the then Chairman, Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers, to expedite interlinking of rivers.
“It is her firm view that in the interlinking projects, the rights of use of water flowing from the existing Inter State Agreements should not be disturbed and that the aim should be to increase the availability of water to deficit States, like Tamil Nadu,” Paneerselvam said.
Recalling Tamil Nadu’s long standing demand for diversion of about 22 TMC ft. of water of the west flowing rivers of Pamba and Achankovil to Vaippar Basin in Tamil Nadu, he said it would benefit the southern districts as revealed in the feasibility study. At the first meeting of this Special Committee, the Union Minister had suggested holding of a discussion with Kerala regarding Pamba - Achankovil - Vaippar link. But the Ministry was yet to convene a meeting on this issue.